Night of Death!(Synapse Films, 10.27.2009)
Why have I in no way heard of this campy cross between H.G. Lewis, softcore smut and creepy old people (wait, aren’t those all one and the same)? The answer: Raphaël Delpard’s 1980 French rarity was never home video'd on North American soil. The film came out in France under the name La nuit de la mort, but didn’t make it to our neck until the cult film-friendly Synapse Films decided to take charge.
Don’t let the atrocious cover art fool you; this is respectably crass filmmaking that surpasses expectations, albeit ones set relatively low. The film is brimming with goofy-gothic atmosphere, superbly eccentric acting (owing mostly to an Igor-like groundskeeper, who throws one epic tantrum after another), semi-laughable gross-out gore and a soundtrack that is flat-out awesome.
A curvacious redhead is hired as the nurse at a countryside retirement home (appropriately named Deadlock House) chock full of cannibalistic staff and residents. That's the basic premise and it’s given away right-off-the-bat. As the terrible terror escalates, so does the fun -- and the final twenty-odd minutes are fan-fucking-tastic.
Unfortunately, Night of Death! comes entirely extras-less, but it is superbly restored with solid subtitles (as a bilingual, I confirm their accuracy) and effective mono sound. This is a fine way to knock-off ninety minutes, though it goes without saying that this recommendation is aimed at a very exclusive group of viewers, preferably accompanied by likeminded gore connoisseurs. As usual, Synapse proves that they know their shit (take that any way you want). -- Neil Karassik